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Common eye problems

Common Eye Problems

More often than not, eyestrain, itchy eyelids and / or irritation are eye problems everyone experiences at one time or another-some can be chronic, but most aren't serious. You'd be surprised how gently resting a warm compress on closed eyes will help relieve most temporary common eye problems.

  • Blurred Vision

  • Burning Eyes

  • Bloody Eye(Subconjunctival Hemorrhage)

  • Contact Lens Problems

  • Cataracts

  • Discharge Eye Drainage

  • Eyelid problems

  • Eye Pain

  • Eyestrain

  • Foreign Object in your Eye

  • Glaucoma

  • Itchy Eyes

  • Macular Degeneration

  • Misaligned Eyes Strabismus

  • Night Blindness

  • Puffy Eyes

  • Red Irritated Eyes

  • Spots, Floaters, Flashes

  • Uveitis

Blurred Vision

Blurred vision can be caused by a number of conditions or events, including a blow to the head. Should blurred vision follow such an event, seek emergency medical care. Also, if blurred vision occurs suddenly and for no apparent reason, seek emergency medical care. Blurred vision can result from retinal detachment or stroke. Both require emergency medical attention. Pink eye or conjunctivitis can result in blurred vision-both require medical treatment.

Blurred vision that comes and goes on occasion can be a symptom of fatigue. Blurred vision can also result from eye dryness, eyestrain and excessive tearing-all common eye conditions. Allergies can cause blurred vision, as can noxious gases, smoke, accidental exposure to chemical substances and alcohol intoxication

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Burning Eyes

Fatigue and overwork on a computer are the two most common causes of burning eyes and rubbing them under these conditions doesn't help. Eye burning can be caused by eye dryness, allergies, eyestrain, eye fatigue and or a combination of numerous conditions. Unless burning eyes is a result of accidental exposure to a chemical substance, a burning sensation in the eyes is usually not an emergency.

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Bloody Eye (Subconjunctival Hemorrhage)

A subconjunctival hemorrhage is a broken blood vessel in the white of the eye. It occurs when a tiny blood vessel below the clear surface of your eye (conjunctiva) ruptures. Most people don't realize they have a subconjunctival hemorrhage until they see the white part of their eye red with blood when they look in the mirror.

Because the conjunctiva can't absorb blood quickly, a subconjunctival hemorrhage can last up to 14 days. Although a broken blood vessel in the white of the eye may appear painful, it typically isn't.

A subconjunctival hemorrhage is usually caused by some type of trauma to the eye. It can often result from a hard sneeze or cough. For the most common causes of subconjunctival hemorrhage, time is the only remedy.

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Contact Lens Problems

Problems with contact lenses include dry eyes, blurred vision, eye infection, a burning sensation, redness and photophobia (light sensitivity). Most contact lens problems originate with the wearer and result from poor contact lens compliance, bad hygiene and / or improper care and handling of contact lenses. Contact lens problems can be eliminated or greatly reduced by putting in fresh contact lenses as directed by your contact lens Rx; washing your hands before inserting contact lenses EVERY TIME; inserting contacts before applying makeup; removing contacts before removing makeup; follow closely the instructions of your eye care professional and contact lens manufacturer.

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Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in your eye and can greatly impact vision. Very common in older persons, more than half of all people in the United States over the age of 80 either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. Symptoms common to cataracts include:

  • Blurred vision

  • Faded colors

  • Glare

  • Bad night vision

  • Double vision

  • Frequent prescription changes in eye wear

Cataracts usually develop slowly. At first, a new eyeglass or contact lens prescription, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses or magnifying lenses can help. Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens and is commonly covered in many vision riders and insurance policies. Lessening your eye's exposure to direct sunlight can help delay cataracts as you age.

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Discharge Eye Drainage

Moisture that leaks from the eyes and dries, causing eyelashes to mat together, is referred to as drainage. Drainage can be caused by irritation, a foreign object in the eye or infection. Typically, eye drainage is the result of an eye infection caused by virus or bacteria-and to a lesser extent fungus, parasites or other organisms. Eye drainage occurs with almost every type of eye infection, including pinkeye or conjunctivitis.

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Eyelid problems

Common symptoms of eyelid problems include redness, swelling, itching and excessive tearing. Eye drainage may also be present and usually results from irritation or eye infection.

Common symptoms of a stye include swelling and tenderness of the eyelid and / or a tender lump on the eyelid that occasionally emits discharge.

Eczema and dermatitis can also affect the eyelids, causing redness along the border of the eyelid and flaking (similar to dandruff) from eyelashes. Pollen and dander can swell the eyelids of those with allergies and the constant rubbing of eyes can irritate lids and result in eye infection.

Eyelid twitching is often caused by stress or fatigue and improves with rest or reduced stress. Eye twitching isn't cause for alarm unless it persists for days, weeks or months, in which case it may suggest nerve problems needing medical attention.

Drooping eyelids may be caused by injury to the nerves that control muscle tone in the eyelids or by a neurologic disease, such as myasthenia gravis. If the eyelids start to droop slowly over a long period of time, this is less serious than sudden onset of drooping eyelids (MSN Health & Fitness).

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Eye Pain

As a general rule, if you experience eye pain accompanied by redness, you should seek medical attention either with your eye care professional or at a clinic or hospital. Much of the time, eye pain is caused by a foreign object too small to see or feel and, unless addressed, can cause serious damage to the cornea and or eyelid and lens.

Eye pain can also be symptomatic of inflammation of the inner eye, in which case you should visit your eye doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Occasionally, eye pain is caused by uveitis (inflammation of the the middle layer of the eye that consists of the iris, ciliary body, and choroid). This type of condition should be treated as soon as possible.

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Eyestrain

Eyestrain occurs when your eyes get tired from intense use, such as driving a car for extended periods, reading or working at the computer. Although annoying, eyestrain usually isn't serious and can be alleviated by resting your eyes or taking a nap. It's important to note that eyestrain can be a sign of an underlying condition, such as the need to upgrade your contact lens or eyeglass prescription. Should eyestrain persist, talk to your eye care professional. Common eye strain symptoms include:

  • Sore, tired, burning or itching eyes

  • Watery eyes

  • Dry eyes

  • Blurred or double vision

  • Headache

  • Sore neck

  • Increased sensitivity to light

Since the inception of the information age, computer use has become the number one cause of common eyestrain in America. If your job requires spending long hours on a desktop computer or laptop, talk to your eye care professional about ways to reduce eyestrain.

Foreign Object in your Eye

If you get poked in the eye or something feels stuck in your eye and you can't remove it with a gentle rinse, it's best that you see an eye care professional or seek emergency medical attention, depending on the severity of the trauma and or pain. Don't rub your eye in an attempt to remove a foreign object. It may make matters worse, especially if it is a small shard of glass or metal or a course grain of sand, dirt or otherwise synthetic chemical or substance.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of conditions resulting in optic nerve damage and which diminishes sight. Abnormally high intraocular pressure inside your eye is usually the cause of glaucoma.

Glaucoma can damage vision so gradually that it goes unnoticed until the disease reaches an advanced stage. The most common type of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma, has no noticeable signs or symptoms except gradual vision loss.

Signs and symptoms of the most common form of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma, include:

  • Gradual loss of peripheral vision, usually in both eyes

  • Tunnel vision in the advanced stages

Acute angle-closure glaucoma signs and symptoms include:

  • Severe eye pain

  • Nausea and vomiting (accompanying the severe eye pain)

  • Sudden onset of visual disturbance, often in low light

  • Blurred vision

  • Halos around lights

  • Reddening of the eye

Itchy Eyes

Itchy eyes can be a symptom of hundreds of underlying eye conditions, from cold and flu, to allergies, eye infection, chemical contact, smoke, quick changes in temperature and dryness. Typically not an urgent situation, eye doctors suggest that you refrain from rubbing your eyes when they itch, which isn't easy to do, as for many, the reaction is involuntary

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a disease that typically comes with age and causes a blurring of your central field of vision. The blurring results from damage to the macula, a small area at the back of the eye that helps you focus on fine details.

Macular degeneration makes it harder, if not impossible, to engage in tasks that require sharp central vision, such as reading, driving, recognizing faces or geometric shapes. Macular degeneration does not adversely impact peripheral vision, so by itself does not lead to total blindness even in its most advance stage.

Macular degeneration comes in two forms: wet and dry. The dry form is by far the most common type. The wet form is much less common, but it happens more quickly and is more severe.

Dry Form: The dry form develops slowly and causes central vision to become dimmer or more blurry over time. It usually does not cause severe vision loss unless it turns into the wet form.As you age, the cells in the macula start to thin and break down, and waste deposits build up in the back of the eye. Over time, this damages the macula.

Wet Form: The wet form cause serious vision loss within months or even weeks. Abnormal blood vessels grow in the back of the eye. These blood vessels break easily and leak blood and fluid under the macula. This can quickly damage the macula and distort your central vision. People who contract the wet form have the dry form first.

You can have either type of macular degeneration in just one eye, but over time get it in both. According to medical research, you are more likely to have macular degeneration if:

  • You are an older adult. Risk increases around the age of 50

  • A close family member has macular degeneration

  • You smoke

  • You are white

Misaligned Eyes Strabismus

Eyes that do not move in the same direction at the same time are misaligned, a condition called strabismus. Misaligned eyes may be either present at birth or caused by disease or injury.

The most common form of strabismus is called esotropia, a condition in which eyes appear crossed. Another form, exotropia, is a form of strabismus where eyes appear wall-eyed or lazy when a person moves their eyes attempts to focus on an object.

Strabismus may be intermittent, occurring only in some situations, such as when a person is tired or daydreaming. If strabismus occurs all the time, it is termed constant.

In children, strabismus is typically caused by improper development of the nervous system which controls the eye muscles, oftentimes a birth defect. Occasionally, the eye muscles themselves may be faulty or an injury may have occurred to the eye socket or muscle which causes it to improperly turn the eye.

In adults, strabismus is typically caused from an acquired injury to the nerve that runs the eye muscle. In older adults, small strokes can occur in the eye muscle nerves or in the specialized parts of the brain that control the eye muscles, leading to strabismus. Injury to the eye socket is a common way in which younger adults can develop malfunction of the eye movement muscles and hence, strabismus.

Strabismus can also be caused by underlying medical conditions, such as thyroid disease and myasthenia gravis, in both children and adults. As such, a person with new or unexplained strabismus should have a full evaluation by their eye and medical doctors.

Night Blindess

Night blindness, or nyctalopia, is the inability to see well at night or in poor light. It is not a disorder in itself, but rather a symptom of an underlying disorder or problem, especially untreated myopia (nearsightedness).

Night blindness causes

Night blindness is due to a disorder of the cells in the retina that are responsible for vision in dim light. It has many causes, including:

  • Myopia

  • Glaucoma medications that work by constricting the pupil

  • Cataracts

  • Retinitis pigmentosa

  • Vitamin A deficiency

Night blindness treatment

Treatment for night blindness will depend upon its cause. Treatment may be as simple as getting a new eyeglass prescription or switching glaucoma medications, or it may require surgery if the night blindness is caused by cataracts.

Puffy Eyes

Puffiness of the eyes can be a sign of allergy season or be symptomatic of an eye injury, infection or otherwise underlying disorder. Should eye puffiness persist, consult your eye care professional or eye doctor for proper treatment.

Red Irritated Eyes

Any number of conditions can cause eyes to turn red. From infection, inflammation and allergies to broken blood vessels , trauma, pink eye or conjunctivitis, if the white of your eye appears red or pink, you might have one of the following conditions:

  • Allergies

  • Pinkeye

  • Trauma

  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage (broken blood vessel)

Spots, Floaters, Flashes

As we age, little pieces of retina break loose and float in the vitreous of the eye. This is what most refer to as floaters. Most floaters are harmless and result in little more than inconvenience.

Certain floaters aren't as harmless and may be the result of vitreous detachments that must be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Yearly eye exams can help detect dangerous floaters. Talk to your eye care professional.

A few little dots, bugs, stars or sparkles (various types of floaters) that come and go are typically normal for those with a few years under their belt. However, sudden flashes of light, or other strange occurrences that affect your vision and appear out of the ordinary should be addressed by an eye care professional, emergency room doctor or urgent care practitioner as soon as possible. The doctor will dilate your pupils in the hopes of diagnosing your problem and prescribing proper treatment.

Early detection of any type of retinal detachment is critical to preserving years of good vision.

Uveitis

As we age, little pieces of retina break loose and float in the vitreous of the eye. This is what most refer to as floaters. Most floaters are harmless and result in little more than inconvenience.

Certain floaters aren't as harmless and may be the result of vitreous detachments that must be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Yearly eye exams can help detect dangerous floaters. Talk to your eye care professional.

A few little dots, bugs, stars or sparkles (various types of floaters) that come and go are typically normal for those with a few years under their belt. However, sudden flashes of light, or other strange occurrences that affect your vision and appear out of the ordinary should be addressed by an eye care professional, emergency room doctor or urgent care practitioner as soon as possible. The doctor will dilate your pupils in the hopes of diagnosing your problem and prescribing proper treatment.

*Statements contained herein have not been reviewed by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Yourlens.com does not provide medical advice. User assumes all liability for content. Talk to your licensed eye care professional or eye doctor regarding vision correction, eye or vision disorders, eye discomfort, contact lens types and materials and for general information on eye care products and eye health.

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